Relax! Stress Can Be Painful…
Work, school, family care, relationships… Whatever it may be, the daily tasks and responsibilities of life cause short-term chronic pain too many of us all over the globe. However, many are not aware of the factor stress plays in muscle & joint pain. Even small daily stressors can affect our bodies negatively, causing pain, soreness, and general discomfort. But what is stress? And how does it occur?
What is stress? How does it occur?
Stress is a state of emotional or physical strain caused by difficult, or worrying situations we experience throughout our lives. Physically, stress shows up in our bodies first as chemical changes in the brain. Our brains react as if we’re in danger and release both Cortisol and Adrenaline. These chemical reactions can then lead to a plethora of physical changes in our bodies – many of which can be detrimental when they occur frequently and in non-dangerous situations.
How Does it Affect Muscle Pain?
Stress, most times, can cause a physical response similar to the way the body reacts to pain. This can mean heightened blood pressure and heart rate, which subsequently causes tightening in muscles across the body. Long periods in this state can take a toll on the body, and lead to short-term or chronic pain.
The Obvious: Diet and Exercise
Simple Exercises To Try
Exercise is one of the most effective methods for treating and reducing stress throughout the day, on breaks, or after leaving a stressful environment. All exercise can help relieve stress because of its ability to loosen muscles, increase blood flow, and encourage deeper breathing that helps relax the body. One misconception is that exercise for stress relief has to be high intensity, in fact, simple activities like walking, dancing, pilates, or tai chi are all effective stress relief exercises.
Stretches To Try
Stretching can also be a very effective stress relief solution. This may be why so many people associate yoga practice with stress relief. There's a multitude of easy yoga stretches that anyone can try in their spare time. Specifically, try out child’s pose, cobra pose, standing forward bend, and bridge pose for some super easy, stress-relieving stretching techniques.
Keeping A Healthy Diet
The food we eat can have a major effect on the way our body experiences different chemical responses. Eating a healthy diet is a great way to reduce stress responses in our bodies. While the foods we could eat for a healthy stress-free diet are innumerable, some of the most common options are as follows:
Berries–Berries contain compounds called anthocyanins that have anti-inflammatory properties, and can therefore reduce the body's pain response to prolonged stress.
Leafy Greens–Greens like bok choy, kale, and spinach contain an anti-inflammatory compound called sulforaphane that can reduce inflammation and pain in muscles and especially joints.
Fish–Fish like Tilapia contain an exorbitant amount of healthy fats and Omega-3s, important compounds in our bodies that can help fight inflammation from natural and injury-related causes.
Reduce Muscle Pain with a Mindful Lifestyle
Mindfulness and meditation have proven to be one of the most effective methods for easing stress in the brain, and just feeling better. While many of us may have seen meditation depicted a certain way in the media, the truth is there are many simple and comprehensive ways to practice mindfulness that anyone can do.
For example, breathing exercises are a great technique for relieving stress. One technique, pranayama breathing, simply requires that you breathe through one nostril at a time, and has been shown to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. Some other mindfulness practices include journaling, going for a walk, or just relaxing your eyes.
Alongside practicing mindfulness, try out several muscle relaxation techniques to rid the physical tension in your muscles caused by stress. Some techniques most highly regarded as effective include massage or self-massage, taking a hot shower or bath, or using a heating pad. These techniques can encourage increased blood flow in painful or tense areas, reducing inflammation, and allowing our muscles to relax.
Need Stronger Relief? Medication is available.
Are other options not working for you? Or you’re just looking for quicker, less involved relief? You’ll be glad to know that there’s a variety of over-the-counter and prescription medications for dealing with symptoms of stress. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs like Advil and Tylenol are often the go-to option for minor muscle pain and inflammation.
When these don't provide the needed relief, many people turn to prescribed psychiatric treatments like mild anxiolytics and SSRIs. If the problem is more physical than mental, some health professionals will prescribe muscle relaxants like Baclofen. These treatments come with various risks and side effects and It’s best to consult a doctor before taking any of the aforementioned drugs.
Affordable and Effective Application Relief
Sometimes, it’s best to keep it simple while still not cutting corners for true muscle pain relief. If this is the case for you, popular and effective OTC treatments include easy-to-use products like Ice Plus Spray that use menthol and other topical analgesics to provide fast, localized pain relief.
Get Back On Your Feet with Ice Plus
Ice Plus spray pain relief uses fast-acting menthol and research-tested menthol-based ingredients to provide a cooling sensation to quickly relieve pain and soreness in areas of the body such as backs, muscles, and joints. Whether your pain is from exercise, stress, or time spent sitting at your desk, applying Ice Plus allows menthol’s cooling properties to temporarily desensitize nerve endings, decrease blood flow to the problem area, and stop pain cold. Visit Ice Plus Pain Relief for more information about your muscle and joint relief today!
The information on Ice Plus Magazine Blog is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, endorse, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professionals and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding your medical condition. Ice Plus and the Editors are not responsible for the accuracy of information provided to the Ice Plus Magazine Blog by contributing authors and institutions or for the use of any information on Iceplusrelief.com. Thank you for reading our blog. You can shop for all Ice Plus Relief products here.